Gaelic Football Category:
Eamonn Ryan: One Of Cork's Most Respected Coaches In Many Codes
Eamon’s sporting career is an illustrious journey travelled only by the very best Irish sportspersons and since he first donned the red and white of his home club, Watergrasshill in the early 50’s and the black and amber of sister club Glenville in 1961, he has excelled both as a player and coach. He won numerous honours in hurling, football, camogie and over the last 8 years, as coach to Cork ladies senior football teams.
He played with Sarsfields and Glanmire at under age when his own club had no juvenile teams. In 1957 he was a Sars player at U16 and his late brother, Mick, was in goals for Bride Rovers. He also played gaelic games with Cork colleges at North Monastary and Colaiste Iosagain, Ballyvourney.
Eamon’s home club embraces two parishes since 1961 with the amalgamation of Watergrasshill (hurling) and Glenville (football) and the former school teacher is widely regarded in both clubs. In 1963 he played football for both Cork juniors and seniors and in 1966 at 25, he was a key player on the Cork senior football team that defeated Kerry for the first time since 1957.
A Galway team going for 3 in a row met and beat Cork in the All Ireland semi final, a game that witnessed Eamon leaving the field concussed. In 1967 Cork again held sway over Kerry in Munster and beat Cavan en-route to the final but Meath claimed Sam Maguire.
He played Railway Cup for Munster in 1966 and ’67 and won two Sigerson Cups with U.C.C. 1966/’67 and captained the college in the 1967 Cork senior football final and replay when Beara claimed the title. In 1967 Eamon also captained the Combined Universities and he also won a Cork Kelleher Shield title with U.C.C. Before Eamon’s 16 th birthday he was junior hurling goalkeeper for Watergrasshill in the East Cork ‘B’ final in 1961. In 1968 Watergrasshill won this title with Eamon as captain and coach.
A proud occasion came in 1974 when as a player and trainer, Eamon Ryan played a momentous role as Watergrasshill won their first ever East Cork junior ‘A’ hurling championship and he brought further glory when the club also added the Cork county junior hurling title.
As a coach he won divisional ‘B’ junior hurling titles in 1997/99 and 2001. He also trained the team that won the clubs second East Cork junior ‘A’ title in 2000 and he was also trainer of the Watergrasshill premier intermediate team beaten in the 2007 county final.
Following the amalgamation with Glenville, Eamon Ryan was the first Watergrasshill player to wear the black and amber and was a vital player in the team that won the East Cork junior ‘A’ football championship in 1961. As a player and trainer, he added four more East Cork football titles with Glenville in 1972/73/78 and ’79. He was also captain in 1978. Two divisional football league medals were also won in 1972 and ’73 and he played with the Imokilly senior football teams in the 1960’s and ‘70s.
With Frank Halbert at U14 and 16, the duo won a total of over 40 East Cork titles, along with county titles at U16 in hurling and football. In the mid 80’s Eamon entered teams in the Sciath na Scol competitions and up to his retirement from teaching, he won many titles. The highlight was the school claiming dual outright honours in Sciath na Scol in hurling and football in both 1991 and ’92.
In camogie with his native Watergasshill he coached and claimed minor, junior and intermediate championships and senior club championship and league titles.
At Na Piarsaigh club, Cork, he made history by winning the county senior hurling title for the first time ever in 1990 as coach and repeated this feat in 1995. He was also a selector on the northside clubs 2004 county triumph.
When Ballingeary claimed a county intermediate football title in 2006, Eamon was again making an impact on the sideline.
The successful coach also claimed a Munster senior football title as Cork manager in 1983 and after an All Ireland semi final replay in Cork, Dublim emerged victorious. From 1990 to 1994 he was coach to Cork minor football teams who won 3 Munster titles and 2 All Irelands.
With Cork Ladies footballers from 2004 to 2015 he coached and won a glorious 10 All Ireland senior championship titles and also 6 National League titles.
Eamon Ryan of Watergrasshill and Glenville fame is one of the all time great players and coaches and is worthy of inclusion in any national Hall Of Fame Gallery.
Eamon Ryan's Hall Of Fame @ www.scoreboardmemories.comi induction tribute took place on Friday 8 th February 2013 at St. Columbas Hall, Douglas, Cork.